NFL Odds: Patriots Big Favorites Vs. Ben Roethlisberger-Less Steelers

by NESN Staff

October 20, 2016

The New England Patriots won’t have to worry about facing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on Sunday when they travel to Pittsburgh to battle the Steelers as 7 1/2-point betting favorites on the NFL lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Roethlisberger will be sidelined for at least two weeks after suffering a knee injury in the Steelers’ 30-15 loss to the Miami Dolphins last weekend. The breaking news of Big Ben’s injury status dramatically impacted the line on Sunday afternoon’s Patriots vs. Steelers betting matchup at Heinz Field, which opened with New England favored by just two points.

This marks the second straight season the Steelers have had to make do without their star QB. Roethlisberger endured an injury-plagued campaign in 2015 that caused him to miss four games, in which the Steelers went 2-2 straight up and and 2-1-1 against the spread, including a 25-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals as 5 1/2-point home underdogs.

Big Ben has looked in fine form this season, throwing a league-leading 16 touchdown passes, which contributed to his early climb to the top of the odds to win the NFL MVP award. However, with a pair of spectacular performances since his return from a four-game suspension, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady now leads the way as a heavy +250 MVP favorite.

Brady has showed no ill effects from his layoff, completing an impressive 29 of 35 attempts with three touchdowns in New England’s 35-17 demolition of the Cincinnati Bengals last weekend.

New England has held opponents to just 11 1/2 points per game over its past four outings, and has won by double-digit margins in each of its past three SU victories. The sole blemish on the Patriots’ record this season remains their 16-0 loss to the division rival Buffalo Bills in the team’s final outing before Brady’s return to action.

The Patriots also have been close to unbeatable when pegged as road chalk of seven or more points, winning 12 of their past 13. However, they have struggled to reward bettors, covering just twice in their past 10 such outings with the point total finishing under seven times.

The Steelers tallied a 25-17 win as three-point home underdogs in New England’s last visit to Pittsburgh back in 2011. But the Patriots have enjoyed a lengthy record of success in visits to Pittsburgh, going 5-2 SU in their past seven, winning by double digits in three of those victories, and covering in seven of their past 10.

New England enters the week as the +300 favorite on the odds to win Super Bowl 51 at the sportsbooks and atop the probable Super Bowl outcomes list at PredictionMachine.com.

Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images

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